Spread Eagle pub re-opens in Fore Street, Ipswich, with craft beer on the menu

The Spread Eagle pub in Ipswich re-opens. Geoff Wright and Lou Weeden are pictured.

The Spread Eagle pub in Ipswich re-opens. Geoff Wright and Lou Weeden are pictured. - Credit: Archant

One of Ipswich’s oldest pubs has re-opened under new ownership after more than six months of being closed, and looks set to become a haven for craft beer enthusiasts.

The Spread Eagle pub in Ipswich re-opens.

The Spread Eagle pub in Ipswich re-opens. - Credit: Archant

The Spread Eagle in Fore Street closed in March after landlady Sheryl Meshirer decided to move to New York.

But while the Grade II-listed building’s future was uncertain for several months, new owners Grain Brewery have been keen to invest money in vital repairs and renovations to keep the historic site a mainstay of the town centre.

Geoff Wright, who established the brewery alongside Phil Halls after the pair decided to ditch their traditional jobs and forge their own path, said: “We knew we wanted to get a new pub and Ipswich was an obvious choice – it’s really developing quickly in the town and close to the brewery.

“We are going to spend the next five years investing in the building for the future.”

Civic Drive, Ipswich, under construction in April 1965. This photograph was taken from where the Han

Civic Drive, Ipswich, under construction in April 1965. This photograph was taken from where the Handford Road roundabout was built. On the left is the entrance to Elm Street where the Magistrates Court now stands. (Photo by Alan Valentine)

The brewery sits near Alburgh on the Suffolk/Norfolk border and owns two pubs in Norwich, but the Spread Eagle represents the firm’s first Suffolk investment. Having brought in Lou Weeden as landlady, who had proved herself at Grain’s Norwich pub The Plough, both Mr Wright and Miss Weeden are keen to make their mark in the town.

Miss Weeden, 24, said: “We have real ales but we have an interest in craft beers made in small batches, really high quality, all about the flavour.”

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Mr Wright added: “We are really proud of British pubs and East Anglian pubs, and it concerned me when pubs started shutting down quickly, so we are trying to put a modern pub with the tradition and heritage, that’s the ethos.”

The newly-refurbished pub opened at the end of August, and has already started generating interest from word of mouth.

The Spread Eagle at the junction of Eagle Street and Fore Street, Ipswich around 1960.

The Spread Eagle at the junction of Eagle Street and Fore Street, Ipswich around 1960.

Miss Weeden said: “It’s been really popular and the word is spreading. The reaction has been really positive and people seem to like what we are doing so I couldn’t ask for more!”